Letter: OLF Coupeville crucial for Navy pilots’ safety

Editor,

One could say this is a letter in response to Coupeville Mayor Molly Hughes’ recent letter regarding the pending release of the long-promised Navy’s EA -18G Aircraft EIS, headlined as a pleading relief message.

First of all, words should relay importance such as truth, understanding, appreciation, etc. If that were so, then following action by the individual who spoke those words one would expect following actions should reinforce those spoken words.

Unfortunately for her, action related in print in this newspaper does not support her words.

From my vantage point of experience, there is a vast as well as a growth of the ignorance as to the importance of the OLF Coupeville facility and touch and go FCLP training .

Visual reference is said to be worth a thousand words. Goggle CVA-59 fire, July 29, 1967. This result is what is possible if an inadequately trained flight crew attempted to come aboard.

Yes, I speak from experience, for I was at 5 a.m. on the July 30, 1967, my 23rd birthday online handling duty for CVA-59 while the shipboard fire was not completely extinguished. Followed by four days of casualty recovery and cleanup working parties. Casualty final count was 134 at the time of recovery.

We were hard-pressed for enough flags I can remember being told.

For me, safety of flight crews and those faceless shipboard shipmates is paramount over residents solitude, who knowingly took up residency in the vicinity of OLF Coupeville .

Sorry, this is not “let’s make deal” for me.

Thomas Strang, AFCM USN Ret.

Coupeville

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